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[eu_members at aclweb dot org] North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad -- Call for Site Hosts

Call for site hosts

North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad

Contest dates: Thursday, February 4 and Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Please respond: asap, but not later than December 15, 2009

Contact: Yilu Zhou, yzhou at gwu dot edu,

Web site:  www.naclo.cs.cmu.edu


The NACLO committee is looking for interested universities in the United
States and Canada to be site hosts for the 2010 Olympiad.
As a site host, you will have the opportunity to meet gifted young
people and show them the fascinating world of linguistics and
computational linguistics.

NACLO is a fun educational contest for high-school students in the
United States and Canada. Contestants compete to solve compelling
puzzles in linguistics and computational linguistics, which requiring no
previous knowledge of linguistics, languages, or computing, and can be
solved by analytic reasoning alone. The contest serves as a fun
introduction to a field to which most students have never been introduced.
Sample problems from the past include deciphering texts in rare
languages such as Huishu, Manam, and Aymara, figuring the inner workings
of a search engine, understanding the calendar of the Mayas, and
learning to read spectrograms of spoken text. You can find sample
problems at www.naclo.cs.cmu.edu/practice.html.

This will be the fourth year of NACLO. In 2009 we had 82 high school
sites and 32 university sites. We expect to have even more in 2010.
Sites have ranged from 5 to 200 students, with the typical number around

The two main tasks of a local site coordinator are to provide (1) a
venue for the competition and (2) local outreach and publicity, such as
contacting school officials (guidance counselors, gifted coordinators,
and teachers) and optionally doing high school visits to introduce
linguistics to the students. We will provide fliers, practice puzzles,
handouts, and sample presentations. NACLO will take place on February 4
and March 10 of 2010.

The Open Round of NACLO will be 3-4 hours long. We will provide the
problems and handle the grading, while you will be responsible for
proctoring the contest. The top performers will advance to the
Invitational Round, where they will compete for the chance to represent
their country (the United States or Canada) at the International
Linguistics Olympiad in Stockholm, Sweden. The United States team did
very well at the previous three International Olympiads, where it won
several gold medals and a dozen other prizes.

Thank you very much for your help in raising the profile of linguistics
among school students. If you are interested in becoming a site host in
2010, or if you have any questions, please e-mail:

Yilu Zhou, yzhou at gwu dot edu

You can find more information about NACLO, such as sample problems,
registration deadlines and registration forms, at www.naclo.cs.cmu.edu.